Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not Qualified for President? Try Lincoln

With all the talk of Obama's "lack" of qualifications, check out the Lincoln bio. Failed in a number of elections, he did serve only 2 years in the House of Representatives in the late 1840's where he took a very unpopular anti-war stand on Polk's war with Mexico.

He functioned as a lawyer and community organizer. Lincoln, coming from what was then considered the west, was viewed as very different and exotic. In many ways, his and Obama's career paths parallel each other, as do their temperaments. Just a bit of irony here.

Check out The History Place for a complete summary.

Other sources: Dorris Kearns Goodwin's wonderful "A Team of Rivals."

And Harold Holzer's fabulous "Lincoln at Cooper Union," a complete description of Lincoln's first trip east and the background surrounding his famous speech in the great hall there, which I got to see for the first time last Saturday night at Naomi Klein's (The Shock Doctrine) appearance there.

The more you know about Lincoln, the more fascinating he becomes. You can try to make the case that "qualifications" include life experiences in his case. Some might try to use that to make the case for Palin too. But compare the backgrounds of Lincoln, Obama and Palin and draw your own conclusions.

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